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Train-to-NZEB Report Summary

Project ID: 649810
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.7.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Train-to-NZEB (Train-to-NZEB: The Building Knowledge Hubs)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The “Train-to-NZEB: The Building Knowledge Hubs (BKH)” project, funded by Horizon 2020 Programme of the EC, aims to support and provide up-to-date training equipment for a set of training and consultation centers with the goal to improve the knowledge and skills in the construction sector and to deliver practical training courses, demonstrations and comprehensive consulting services for design and construction of Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEB). The new centers form an international network, providing opportunities for training courses on the curricula developed under the European BUILD UP Skills initiative and by project partners, as well as continuous opportunities for exchange, updating and improving of the existing training programmes. The project itself aims to reach a significant number of construction professionals in Central and Eastern Europe who have not been able to directly benefit from the BUILD UP Skills Initiative and will contribute to the execution of the European and national goals in the area of climate and energy through securing of quality and sustainability in the implementation of the EPBD and EED requirements related to the building sector.
Train-to-NZEB effectively transfers the knowledge and experience of leading research and training institutions from Germany (Passive House Institute) and Ireland (Passive House Academy/MosArt and Limerick Institute of Technology) to 5 European countries – Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Ukraine, targeting design and equipment of 4 fully active training centers (in Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the Czech Republic) and 1 pilot center (in Ukraine) It also aims at the adaptation of existing and the development of new curricula for building professionals and the conducting of training sessions for a total of 90 trainers, 2,400 construction workers, 480 designers and 720 non-specialists (representatives of public authorities, business managers, NGOs, consumer groups, media, etc.). All of these, combined with the provision of consulting services based on the ""One-stop shop"" principle, is expected to increase the interest and capacity for design and construction of NZEBs supported by RES in the focus countries and to stimulate the market demand for such solutions for both new buildings and building renovations.


Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Currently, the progress of the work has already enabled the start of the actual training activities, as most of the necessary prerequisites are provided and the facilities are accessible. BKHs are set up and acting in all 5 participating countries - in many cases in partnership with leading local training and education providers:
BKH-Bulgaria is set up in the premises of the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia – the most established and renowned educational institution in this area. A highlight of this cooperation is the start of a joint Masters programme on energy efficiency in buildings in the University.
BKH-Romania is set up in the facilities of URBAN-INCERC, the national authority responsible for sustainable construction and urban development. A focal point for all activities in this area, the Romanian team has already established a number of partnerships with other national and local authorities, universities, business actors and VET providers.
BKH-Czech Republic, situated in the center of Prague, is set up in cooperation with the Architectural and Building Foundation (ABF), the oldest and most established training provider for both architects and construction workers. Three Train-to-nZEB courses were already approved for accreditation in the Czech Republic by the Czech Chamber of Chartered Engineers and Technicians.
BKH-Turkey is situated in EGE University, as most of the facilities are fully operational. The team has succeeded to attract a number of supporters from the business sector as well as the local chambers and professional associations. Despite the lack of legal NZEB requirements in the country, the team has designed and delivered original training models with excellent energy performance.
BKH-Ukraine is a definite highlight of the project so far, as despite the lack of financing for equipment provisioned in the GA, the partnership with the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture (KNUCA) and a number of local companies has enabled the establishment of a fully operational training center. Since October 2016, the trainings in Ukraine are already running successfully.
The necessary prerequisites as training programmes, aids and teams of trained trainers were provided with the active participation of all project partners. All available internal and external resources were exploited, transferring knowledge and experience from project partners, using materials from a significant number of EU-financed projects and developing new original programmes and content for the 5 centers. Currently, training programmes for a number of courses are available and in exploitation, covering most target groups in each country, as the segment of building workers is fully covered everywhere.
Teams of trained trainers are also available for each BKH, as training has taken place in two stages: first, representatives of project partners were acquainted with the facilities of PHA in Dublin and their exploitation during a dedicated train-the-trainer (TTT) course in December 2015; then, TTT courses have been conducted locally with trainers who will be engaged in the work of the BKHs. This activity was and will be further developed by conducting TTT courses locally by representatives of PHI and PHA combined with planned project meetings – an approach which has proved to be extremely helpful in the case of BKH-Bulgaria.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

With activities located in Eastern and Central Europe, Train-to-NZEB still has to overcome a number of market barriers, which were clearly outlined in the dedicated marketing survey conducted in the spring of 2016. NZEB issues are still largely neglected within the professional community, the available training programmes are targeted to the traditional construction slills and there is lack of understanding of the general change in the approach and quality of the design and construction works necessary to execute the new requirements. In some of the countries hosting BKHs (Turkey and Ukraine), there are no NZEB definitions, which makes the task to promote related training courses even more complicated. However, the project has achieved in conducting a very intensive communication campaign, through which the project has already established a broad network of partnerships in the professional and VET circles, attracting 8 associated VET providers through Memoranda of Understanding, and local business actors (more than 20) interested in supporting the training activities. A large number of national and international events were organized and/or attended; a significant coverage of project activities was achieved in both traditional and new media, including social media, already outscoring the initially set performance indicators. The project team has established active collaboration with other H2020 Construction Skills and BUILD UP Skills projects which helps the outreach to both the professional community and the potential beneficiaries from the services offered in the BKHs.

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